It’s been a hard week. It’s been a hard week for America. It’s been a hard week as an Orlando native. The saving grace of it all is to see how my community has come together to support each other through this tough time. We’ve let go of the political prejudice, cultural divide and racial tension, and come together as a city.
It’s sometimes hard for me to express my emotions, in fact, really hard. I always want to appear happy and strong. I don’t know if that’s something that I learned from my parents, or from growing up as a first born and always trying to be someone my younger sister would look up to, but that’s just who I am. This week though has been so hard. I’m not happy and I’m not strong. I’m sad, hurt, shocked, numb, and just want to cry at times, but I feel ashamed. It’s true though. Orlando is my home. I was born in Orlando Regional Medical Center, the scene of so much horror and chaos in the early hours of Sunday morning. I’ve not only passed by Pulse nightclub over 100 times in my life, but I’ve had some amazing times at that club. I just cannot believe something like this could happen in my backyard.
Then I’m just expected to go back to work and continue as usual, when I know my home, my family, is grieving. I’ll admit, it’s been tough to think of anything else for the last 48 hours. I’ve watched interviews from survivors and those who have lost friends and family and I just think, that could have easily been my friend, my family.
While the air feels solemn at times here in Orlando, it also feels empowering. Together we are stronger. There is evil in the world, but good can overpower. Reach out and hug the person next to you. Orlando has faced a great nightmare, but it can once again be a place where dreams come true #OrlandoStrong